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Daily Archives: 28 Dec 2010

2011 is NOT going to be a Terrible year for Lindsay Lohan! (Hey, you never know.) (via The Book of Terrible)

Fantastically fun foray into Schadenfreude. And who better as the object of that scorn than LiLo?

2011 is NOT going to be a Terrible year for Lindsay Lohan! (Hey, you never know.) I was recently accused of trying too hard to dig up dirt on celebrities, but let’s face it, they make it sooo easy I’d be a fool not to point out just how ridiculous they are. Case in point, the little girl who had the world laid at her feet, only to kick it aside to go party. Let’s take a brief look at just how messed up this little girl has been. July 2, 1986 – Lindsay Dee Lohan is born in New York City to Michael (jail-bird) Lohan and Dina (I’ … Read More

via The Book of Terrible

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture

 

Peter Caroli: Everyone Has One

As Schaff relates

Peter Caroli, a doctor of the Sorbonne, an unprincipled, vain, and quarrelsome theological adventurer and turncoat, who changed his religion several times, led a disorderly life, and was ultimately reconciled to the pope and released from his concubine, as he called his wife.

He had fled from Paris to Geneva in 1535, became pastor at Neuchâtel, where he married, and then at Lausanne. He raised the charge of Arianism against Farel and Calvin at a synod in Lausanne, May, 1537, because they avoided in the Confession the metaphysical terms Trinity and Person, (though Calvin did use them in his Institutio and his Catechism,) and because they refused, at Caroli’s dictation, to sign the Athanasian Creed with its damnatory clauses, which are unjust and uncharitable.

Calvin was incensed at his arrogant and boisterous conduct and charged him with atheism. “Caroli,” he said, “quarrels with us about the nature of God and the distinction of the persons; but I carry the matter further and ask him, whether he believes in the Deity at all? For I protest before God and man that he has no more faith in the Divine Word than a dog or a pig that tramples under foot holy things” (Matt. 7:6).

This is the first manifestation of his [Calvin’s] angry temper and of that contemptuous tone which characterizes his polemical writings.

He [Calvin] handed in with his colleagues a confession on the Trinity. The synod after due consideration was satisfied with their orthodoxy, and declared Caroli convicted of calumny and unworthy of the ministry. He died in a hospital at Rome.

Everyone has a Peter in their life- an unprincipled, vain, and quarrelsome theological interlocutor and turncoat, who changes his religion several times, leads a disorderly life, and dies miserably in some dirty hospital, alone.

[NB- Barth discusses Caroli a good bit, and Calvin’s own broadside against the blatherer is available in Vol 1.1 of the inestimably wonderful Calvin Studienausgabe.]

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Church History, Theology

 

Oh My, This Is No Good At All

JFK Airport - USGS 8 April 1994

JFK - America's own Heathrow

NPR reports

For some airline passengers who were finally able to make it to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport after a blizzard shut the region down, the travel nightmare started once they landed.  Passengers on two Cathay Pacific flights and a British Airways flight spent hours on the tarmac after landing because there were no gates available for them.  One Cathay Pacific flight that originated in Hong Kong and was diverted to Toronto before landing at JFK sat for more than 10 hours before passengers were allowed off Tuesday morning.  The weary travelers said they were given meager snacks like juice, water, cookies or instant soups. They also said they got conflicting reports about why they could not leave.

That’s just simply insane.  I don’t believe I could stay confined that long sitting on the ground without going absolutely mad.  Airlines and airports simply have no sense of customer service any more.

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture

 

Greek in the Synagogue: Rethinking a Common Perception

“Ancient Bible fragments reveal a forgotten history”

“New research has uncovered a forgotten chapter in the history of the Bible, offering a rare glimpse of Byzantine Jewish life and culture.  The study by Cambridge University researchers suggests that, contrary to long-accepted views, Jews continued to use a Greek version of the Bible in synagogues for centuries longer than previously thought. In some places, the practice continued almost until living memory.  The key to the new discovery lay in manuscripts, some of them mere fragments, discovered in an old synagogue in Egypt and brought to Cambridge at the end of the 19th century. The so-called Cairo Genizah manuscripts have been housed ever since in Cambridge University Library. Now, a fully searchable online corpus (http://www.gbbj.org) has gathered these manuscripts together, making the texts and analysis of them available to other scholars for the first time.”

More: http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-12-ancient-bible-fragments-reveal-forgotten.html

With hearty thanks to Jeffrey Gibson for mentioning this on the Biblical Studies list.

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Bible, Biblical Studies Resources

 

The Very Best of 2010

Smokestacks from a wartime production plant, W...

Best of lists pollute the air and destroy the planet

You know you want to know what the very best of 2010 was, because every website and blog in the universe has a listing.  So I’ll tell you once and for all what the very best of everything was in 2010-

Best book- the one I liked best.  If you liked it too, then you’re right!  If you didn’t, you’re clearly an idiot and shouldn’t have children or further pollute the gene pool.

Best video– the one I liked best.  If you liked it too, then you’re right!  If you didn’t, you’re clearly an idiot and shouldn’t have children or further pollute the gene pool.

Best Musical performance– the one I liked best.  If you liked it too, then you’re right!  If you didn’t, you’re clearly an idiot and shouldn’t have children or further pollute the gene pool.

Best blog– the one I liked best.  If you liked it too, then you’re right!  If you didn’t, you’re clearly an idiot and shouldn’t have children or further pollute the gene pool.

Best website – the one I liked best.  If you liked it too, then you’re right!  If you didn’t, you’re clearly an idiot and shouldn’t have children or further pollute the gene pool.

Best food – the one I liked best.  If you liked it too, then you’re right!  If you didn’t, you’re clearly an idiot and shouldn’t have children or further pollute the gene pool.

Best tv show – the one I liked best.  If you liked it too, then you’re right!  If you didn’t, you’re clearly an idiot and shouldn’t have children or further pollute the gene pool.

Best radio program – the one I liked best.  If you liked it too, then you’re right!  If you didn’t, you’re clearly an idiot and shouldn’t have children or further pollute the gene pool.

Best of the best of all the bestest bests – the one I liked best.  If you liked it too, then you’re right!  If you didn’t, you’re clearly an idiot and shouldn’t have children or further pollute the gene pool.

Best person – the one I liked best.  If you liked it too, then you’re right!  If you didn’t, you’re clearly an idiot and shouldn’t have children or further pollute the gene pool.

Best religion – the one I liked best.  If you liked it too, then you’re right!  If you didn’t, you’re clearly an idiot and shouldn’t have children or further pollute the gene pool.

Best Journal – the one I liked best.  If you liked it too, then you’re right!  If you didn’t, you’re clearly an idiot and shouldn’t have children or further pollute the gene pool.

Best restaurant – the one I liked best.  If you liked it too, then you’re right!  If you didn’t, you’re clearly an idiot and shouldn’t have children or further pollute the gene pool.

Best sense of humor -the one I liked best.  If you liked it too, then you’re right!  If you didn’t, you’re clearly an idiot and shouldn’t have children or further pollute the gene pool.

Best Mark Stevens post– the one I liked best.  If you liked it too, then you’re right!  If you didn’t, you’re clearly an idiot and shouldn’t have children or further pollute the gene pool.

Best War– the one I liked best.  If you liked it too, then you’re right!  If you didn’t, you’re clearly an idiot and shouldn’t have children or further pollute the gene pool.

That’s 2010 in review!  Neat, right?!?!?!  Now go make your own list.  And just understand beforehand that it won’t be the best one, because this one is.

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture

 

No Room in the Synagogue…

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Jesus with a plate behind his head

There was a bit of discussion in Britain last week over a BBC program (or programme), part of which a Rabbi objected to:

The scene depicts a pregnant Mary, mother of Jesus, trying to escape a Bethlehem crowd which accuses her of adultery. She is refused haven in a synagogue by a tallit-wearing rabbi, although he allows her to flee by a back door.  Rabbi Romain had not seen the episode, but had been alerted to its contents by two people who had attended preview screenings.  Many Jews, he said, would be “aghast that amid a story central to the beliefs of millions of Christians, an anti-Judaic aspect has been twisted into the narrative. The Gospels tell us there was no room at the inn, not that a rabbi kicked Mary out of a synagogue”.  He added: “It would be tragic if a 30-minute television programme undoes 30 years of inter-faith dialogue.”  But a BBC spokesman rejected the accusation: “There is absolutely no truth to claims the rabbi is depicted in a negative way,” she said.

Telling Mary to move along- through the back door- doesn’t really seem like something smelling of antisemitism to me.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked to get out by means of the back door of this or that establishment/house/church/hospital/theatre etc. and I have never once taken it as an ethnic or racial insult.  In fact, when I was at Chris Tilling’s flat in London a couple of years ago he told me

When you leave, do slink down the back stairs.  I’d prefer that no one knew you were here.

I took it as an act of kindness that he wanted me to go unnoticed.  Maybe that was the Rabbi’s intention in the Synagogue scene…

[Some people are just too sensitive].

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture

 

Breaking News: The Blizzard is Proving Problematic for Idiots

The Onion has the stirring report.  Via Michael Ensley on FB.

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture

 

Chuckle…

Go vote.  Don’t forget to vote!  It’ll be just like voting in Florida in 2000:  completely meaningless and fraught with the potential for fraud and misrepresentation.  But go vote or the bibliblogging junta will kill you and your goat.

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture

 

Facts? Facts? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Facts! (via Scotteriology)

Dilettantism, my friends, at its VERY finest. And more proof that some people shouldn’t be allowed within 10 miles of the Bible. For any reason.

Facts? Facts? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Facts! via Failbook … Read More

via Scotteriology

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture

 

It Isn’t The Doctor’s Fault That You Had a Child You Didn’t Want…

And I’m sure when he grows up and sees that his parents were so angry that he had been born, they sued the doctor instead of accepting responsibility for copulation themselves, that he will be forever thrilled.

A Eugene couple has sued a local doctor and medical group for $650,000 for a botched vasectomy.  The Eugene Register-Guard reports that Scott and Donnita Bassinger filed the suit this month, saying Dr. Stephen Schepergerdes and Oregon Medical Group should help with the expenses associated with Donnita Bassinger’s Cesarean delivery and with their son’s upbringing and college education.  They allege that Schepergerdes failed to inform the couple that he encountered complications when performing Scott Bassinger’s vasectomy in 2007, despite allegedly noting in his records that Bassinger’s tubes were thin and difficult to dissect.

Maybe they should have gone with the tried and true 100% fail proof method called abstinence.  Or maybe they should just man up and raise the boy in a loving environment.  I know, optimistic me, there’s not a chance of that given their wretched litigiousness.  Only the totally depraved would consider suing because a baby has been born.  What’s surprising is that they didn’t simply murder, oh wait, I mean abort him.

Via Tom Verenna on FB.

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture, Total Depravity

 

Tim Bulkeley’s Brilliant Essay in Bible and Interpretation

Tim has said well and rightly what lots of us have been thinking and too few have been saying (except for the swipe at minimalist historiography. It is my opinion that minimalism FORCES us to think theologically about scripture instead of constricting it with some supposed historiographic slavery).

If we continue as we have been, seeking to separate faith from biblical studies, then all we can expect to foster are sharper and wilder fights between the extremists, with the middle ground left as a muddied no-man’s-land.

Theology and biblical studies without faith are not only impossible (really) they are harmful and ultimately misleading.

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Bible, Theology

 

A Very Cool Blizzard Video

A time lapse of the deluge. I saw this on the news last night and found it online today (thanks to the good folk at the national weather service).

Give it a look. Fun stuff!

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture

 

Thank You, Ron Kubsch

Ron has sent along a copy of his book on Postmodernism (which I won in a contest!).  Thanks Ron!  I’ll read it on the way to Britain!

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Books, Modern Culture

 

It May Be Popular, Some May Think it Cool and Even Proper…

But it’s still an aberration.

Finally, Elton John can call himself a father.  The pop rock superstar and his long-time husband, David Furnish, announced to Us Weekly that they have had a child via a surrogate mother in California. Their son, named Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, was born on Christmas day, and weighed seven pounds and 15 ounces.  “We are overwhelmed with happiness and joy at this very special moment,” the new fathers told the magazine. “Zachary is healthy and doing really well, and we are very proud and happy parents.”

I wish the baby well.  That doesn’t, however, change the fact that homosexuality is, and remains, an aberration.  I have to agree with John MacArthur on the subject.  And since he says it so well (and on video) I’ll simply defer to him on the topic:

And until someone can provide an accurate (textually and exegetically) reading of Romans 1-2 that persuades me otherwise, I’m afraid I have to maintain this position.

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture, Theology

 

The Economy is Recovering and Jobs are Available…

Caterpillar D350D Articulated Off Road Truck.

Made Not in America

Overseas, where lots of American companies are hiring

Corporate profits are up. Stock prices are up. So why isn’t anyone hiring?  Actually, many American companies are — just maybe not in your town. They’re hiring overseas, where sales are surging and the pipeline of orders is fat.  More than half of the 15,000 people that Caterpillar Inc. has hired this year were outside the U.S. UPS is also hiring at a faster clip overseas. For both companies, sales in international markets are growing at least twice as fast as domestically.

Thanks, American corporations.  You guys are just awesome aren’t you…  Way to take care of the folks at home…  But when money is your god, it doesn’t matter what you have to do to get it.

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture

 

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Total Depravity: The Pastor as Thief Edition

With thanks to Tom Verenna for pointing it out:

A Texas pastor caught by police with a laptop and fur coats said she was protecting the valuables, not stealing them from the home of a parishioner.  Sandy McGriff, cofounder of the Church of the Living God, told The Dallas Morning News on Monday that she “used poor judgment” when she entered a church member’s home through a broken window and removed valuable property.

Poor judgement?  Seriously?   That’s not poor judgement, ‘Pastor’, that’s depraved sinfulness.  Worse is the fact that instead of confessing and repenting, she’s defending herself and pretending innocence.  And still more worse (worser or worsest) is the fact that she had her photo taken with fur coats in the background and a Bible in the foreground!!!!

As though the Bible’s presence justifies her excuses or limits her liability.  This is no Pastor, this is a scammer; a wolf in sheep’s clothing.  A fleecer of the flock in more ways than one.

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Total Depravity

 

Today With Zwingli

Among scholars there’s a bit of debate as to whether Zwingli’s Wer Ursache gebe zu Aufruhr was published on December 28th, 1524, or on December 7th. It’s my assumption that it was published on December 7th, so I mentioned it back then.

If you’re interested, just follow the link. And if you think Zwingli was no fan of the Anabaptists, you should take the time to read Heinrich Bullinger on them. Ouch.

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Church History, Theology, Zwingli

 

How About Those New York Sanitation Workers…

Or more exactly, how about that New York plow driver and the tow truck driver pulling him! What a prize they are…

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Modern Culture

 

On Idolaters and Angry Atheists: An Observation

Just as one who cleans toilets makes fun of the people who pinch their noses when he happens to be near them, because he has himself been in that filth so long that he does not notice that awful stench anymore; so those who worship images and have by this habit become so hardened to that filth think that they are among the roses, and make fun of those who are bothered by the stench they themselves no longer notice.  —  John Calvin

Adjusting this just a bit in terms of angry atheism, we get

Just as one who cleans toilets makes fun of the people who pinch their noses when he happens to be near them, because he has himself been in that filth so long that he does not notice that awful stench anymore; so the angry atheist  has, by his senseless habit of  disbelief, become so hardened to that filth of disbelief he actually thinks that he is among the roses, and so he makes fun of those who are bothered by the stench he himself no longer notices.

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Theology

 

On the Pastoral Task: An Observation

1010047

Pastors are

Watchmen who always have to be on guard to be able to warn against evil and take a stand against it.  Whenever they see that God is insulted, they are to become trumpets that wake those who sleep.  Look, that is also why the Holy Scriptures give that name to the prophets whose task it is to watch over others, just as today to the ministers of the Word who as watchmen must keep a close watch on what is happening in order to rise up into action against evil, and to announce to those who stay fast asleep in their sins that they really continue cannot continue to mock God in this way.

— John Calvin

 
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Posted by on 28 Dec 2010 in Theology